About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 518-527
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1115

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain


M. Divjak, V. Kolenc Potocnik

Doba Business School Maribor (SLOVENIA)
The aim of this paper is to discuss possibilities of enhancing the effectiveness of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) by incorporating additional interactive elements that have proven to be beneficial in online learning. Our research is part of the Erasmus+ project DESTINY (Developing Employability Skills Through Innovative education using MOOCs for Youth). The rationale of the project is to develop, implement, test and refine a method for higher education institutions to promote and support the use of MOOCs as a tool to address the shortage of transversal skills in local labour markets, thereby improving employability of youth and adult learners. In line with DESTINY’s objectives, we have designed and tested different models of MOOCs that has been supplemented by the so-called MOOC Study Clubs (MSCs). MSCs have been recognised as a potentially vital component in terms of stimulating interactivity and active participation that may significantly contribute to the development of transversal skills that would otherwise, following the predominantly passive learning approach in MOOCs, hardly develop. Testing whether inclusion of MSCs and other interactive activities actually increases the effectiveness of MOOCs and contributes to the development of skills was one of the main objectives of our research.

Based on the extensive background market research on required transversal skills of work seekers from the perspective of the Slovenian employers, teamwork has been identified as the key missing transversal skill. Hence, we decided to design a MOOC on teamwork, with the main objective to equip participants with basic knowledge about teamwork, team processes and key requirements for effective team functioning. Having in mind that solely gaining knowledge is insufficient for skill development, we have supplemented the MOOC with MSCs to help participants develop practical skills for effective teamwork by means of experiential learning – to the extent to which this could be achieved in a virtual environment.

The pilot implementation was targeted at 46 participants to test, what works and what does not work in the MOOC context in terms of increased interactivity. It was thoroughly evaluated by all included stakeholders. A few recommendations and adjustments for the follow-up implementation (135 enrolled participants) have been identified in order to make it suitable for mass attendance and to stimulate higher completion rates.

The key adjustments were the following:
a) implementation in native language,
b) adaptation of tasks and assignments in terms of number and complexity, and
c) modification of MSCs to make it even more experiential and tied up to particular content-specific units.

Based on the evaluation results, the paper then discusses recommendations for future development and implementation of MOOCs, especially appropriate for smaller higher education institutions.
author = {Divjak, M. and Kolenc Potocnik, V.},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1115},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1115},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {518-527}}
AU - M. Divjak AU - V. Kolenc Potocnik
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1115
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 518
EP - 527
ER -
M. Divjak, V. Kolenc Potocnik (2017) USABILITY OF MOOCS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSVERSAL SKILLS, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 518-527.